Tag Archives: Joe Flacco

How NUTS Was the End of That Vikings-Ravens Game?

(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Heart-attack inducing doesn’t even begin to describe the final two minutes of Sunday’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the visiting Minnesota Vikings, a game which the Ravens eventually won 29-26.

It all started with a Joe Flacco 1-yard TD pass to tight end Dennis Pitta with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens then converted a 2pt attempt to go up 15-12 (#1 in the win probability chart below). That’s when all hell broke loose at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Vikings answered with a two play 68-yard drive that was capped by a 41-yard Toby Gerhart run that lasted all of 38 seconds (#2)—Gerhart was tasked replacing Adrian Peterson in the backfield after the league’s leading rusher went down with an ankle injury. After the extra point, Minnesota was back on top 19-15.

That was short lived, though. Jacoby Jones took the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the house (#3) to put the Ravens in front yet again, 22-19, with 1:16 left on the clock.

Fans had little time to celebrate, though. On the third play of the Vikings’ next drive, Matt Cassel threw a short screen to rookie wide receiver/return man/future pro bowler/unstoppable force Cordarrelle Patterson who corralled the pass, made a few men miss, and then sprinted the rest of the way for a 79-yard touchdown (#4). The Vikes found themselves in the lead again, 26-22. Problem was, they left 45 seconds on the clock, nearly as much time as the last four drives combined.

Having to go 80 yards with only two timeouts, Joe Flacco turned to rookie receiver Marlon Brown. The two connected on the first play from scrimmage for 35 yards. An 18-yard pass interference call (that was extremely questionable and smelled like some home cooking) negated an interception, and another 18-yard pass to Dennis Pitta set Baltimore up at the nine yard line with ten seconds left. That’s when Flacco found Brown in the back of the endzone for a gorgeous toe-tapping reception (#5).

The drive took all of 41 seconds and left just enough time for a squib kick that was returned to midfield. Ravens win 29-26.

Ravens win prob 12 8 13

There have been some back and forth games this year, but I can’t think of one that saw so many swings in momentum, so close together, and right at the end of the game. The final six drives of the game all resulted in touchdowns, five of which happened in a span of about two minutes. Unbelievable.

Adrian Peterson found the events of the game unbelievable as well—specifically the actions of the refs and fans, and took to the Twitter afterwards to tweet his displeasure.

I’m guessing there’s a little frustration in there with the ankle injury—and I’m not going to disagree with him about Baltimore having the worst fanbase in the history of fanbases—but you can’t be mad about how that game ended.

Gigantic Flacco Banner in Denver is Ridiculous

This is absurd.

Several months after the Baltimore Orioles stiff armed the NFL after the NFL tried to bully their way into making Baltimore’s other birds reschedule their September 5th game against the Chicago White Sox to make room for the Ravens-Broncos Thursday night NFL season opener (catch your breath…), that Week 1 matchup is back in the news. The first game of the season—which has taken place at the home of the previous season’s Super Bowl champion—was shifted to Denver, which is sorta kinda a big deal in a way if you’re one that hates to veer away from tradition, but not what is causing a stir in the Mile High City No, not by a long shot.

The reason Denverites (?) aren’t happy (and rightfully so) is the fact that the NFL has started to deck out the stadium with all sorts of decorations for the game which includes an ENORMOUS banner of Joe Flacco. Granted, there’s an equally-large image of Peyton Manning opposite Flacco, this is still complete B.S. I mean, look at this thing:

flacco banner denver

For any fan, your home stadium is a source a pride, a home away from home, a place of worship if you will. For the NFL to waltz in and splash images of another team’s star player all over your turf should be seen as sacrilege. Not only is Flacco’s likeness on the side of Sports Authority Field, it’s also on nearly every other light post around the stadium and throughout the city of Denver…

flacco light post

…some of which have been vandalized. A local Denver sportscaster was even shown partaking in the Sharpie-ing of Flacco’s mug.

Just for a second, imagine that a giant banner of Tony Romo or Eli Manning or RGIII was plastered on the side of Lincoln Financial Field, or (for you Steel City fans) imagine these Flacco images were on the side of Heinz field, or if Claude Giroux’s face was all over Consol Energy Center. What real fan, in their right mind, wouldn’t be outraged by that? And let’s not forget about the fact that it was this same Ravens team (well, minus about 75% of last years roster, so calling them the same might be a bit of a stretch) that knocked the Broncos out of the playoffs on a miraculous overtime play, so forcing their fans to stare Flacco in the face in the days leading up to this rematch is just like ripping the scab off of a not-completely-healed wound, and then dumping a bucket of salt in there. It’s just not right.

Even Manning was caught off guard by the banners popping up around Denver: “Yes, it is [strange],” he told KOA 850 AM, the Broncos’ flagship radio affiliate, according to ESPN. “I’ve never heard of anything like that for a regular-season game.”

The NFL’s response to all of this? Pretty typical if you ask me:

“We appreciate the fans’ passion and their desire to protect their team but think of this game as more of an opening ceremony, a celebration of the new season for the entire league,” Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications, told ESPN. “This game will be viewed by an audience of millions and reflects the opening of the season. There will be similar banners hanging in Baltimore at the events there next week as well.”

Computer graphics have come a long way in the last several, um, decades. I’m pretty sure the NFL has enough monies that they could have used some CGI or other special effects to make it look like those images were actually there for the people watching at home, and saved the residents of Denver the heartache that they’re surely causing them.